A Special Constable has been nominated for a national award after coming up with the idea of ‘Trauma Teddies’ to help comfort children in distressing situations.
Sarah Johns has been shortlisted for the Special Constable – Individual Award at the Lord Ferrers Awards 2017, a ceremony which highlights the vital role volunteers play in supporting UK police forces.
Sarah came up with the concept of Trauma Teddies after attending a domestic violence incident in Northwich, at which a young child was present.
She said: “We want children to be able to come to us and talk, not to be afraid of us, and the Trauma Teddies really help with this.
“The way it works is officers give teddies to children as a way of breaking down barriers in difficult situations. I’ve used them in cases when a child has run out of the room because they don’t want to talk to a police officer.
“I have also used them when attending domestic violence incidents and they have been very useful in keeping children calm.”
Staff at Crafty Stitches in Northwich have been helping to knit the teddies, and due to the success there are now a number of local Women’s Institutes and knitting groups also involved.
Louise Hough, web sales and promotions director at Crafty Stitches, said: “We love to help the community as much as we can and seeing the police, fire and ambulance services being in such great demand recently, this is the perfect time to remind them how much the general public support them for all that they do for us.
“It also shows that in a time of need, someone is thinking about those concerned and provides a little bit of comfort and hope.”
Acting Chief Constable Janette McCormick added: “This is a fantastic idea and all the feedback we have received from officers show that the Trauma Teddies have been a great success.
“What has also been great is the partnership work this has created with local businesses and community group. We are now looking at ways we can roll out the Trauma Teddies across Cheshire.
“We wish Sarah the best of luck at the awards ceremony on 28 November.”
Speaking about her nomination Sarah said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard, it was a massive shock.
“It has been a huge team effort to get the teddies out to children and there are so many people who have helped - not least Louise at Crafty Stitches.
“I’m looking forward to attending the Lord Ferrers Awards ceremony in London on 28 November.”
Celvyn Jones, Special Constabulary Chief Officer, added: “I’m immensely proud of Sarah and this initiative as it highlights the role the Special Constabulary plays in the communities of Cheshire.
“This piece of work highlights how the police, local businesses and other voluntary sectors can come together to make a positive impact.
“This is the second time in as many years Cheshire has been shortlisted for a Lord Ferrers award, and having won last year to be shortlisted again is something Cheshire Special Constabulary is very proud of.”
If you’re interested in joining the Special Constabulary visit www.cheshire.police.uk/jobs/special-constable